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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1994 Aug;26(4):349-58.

The role of ascorbate in antioxidant protection of biomembranes: interaction with vitamin E and coenzyme Q.

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Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


One of the vital roles of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is to act as an antioxidant to protect cellular components from free radical damage. Ascorbic acid has been shown to scavenge free radicals directly in the aqueous phases of cells and the circulatory system. Ascorbic acid has also been proven to protect membrane and other hydrophobic compartments from such damage by regenerating the antioxidant form of vitamin E. In addition, reduced coenzyme Q, also a resident of hydrophobic compartments, interacts with vitamin E to regenerate its antioxidant form. The mechanism of vitamin C antioxidant function, the myriad of pathologies resulting from its clinical deficiency, and the many health benefits it provides, are reviewed.

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